Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

Trump approves Arkansas Medicaid work requirements

Trump approves Arkansas Medicaid work requirements

Verma, however, didn't approve another proposal by Arkansas to move 60,000 people off the Medicaid expansion by lowering the eligibility cap from 138 percent of the federal poverty level to 100 percent.

"We're continuing to work through the issues regarding that", Verma said at a morning news conference with Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Nineteen 19 states haven't expanded their Medicaid programs.

Arkansas follows IN and Kentucky this year IN winning CMS' approval for the work requirement.

"The Trump administration is dedicated to advancing policies that make Medicaid a pathway out of poverty by empowering states like Arkansas to design programs that meet the unique needs of their citizens", Administrator Verma said.

"I have often said that Arkansans understand the dignity of work", Governor Hutchinson said.

"The first wave might be those that were marginal and probably didn't need to be on the system to begin with", he said. "It's to help them move out of poverty and move up the economic ladder". The work requirement exempts many people such as those with opioid addiction and parents with dependent children.

More news: RB Chris Ivory to sign with Bills

Arkansas Works was covering more than 285,000 Arkansans as of January 1. The state's hybrid expansion uses Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents.

Older enrollees will be exempt. It is the third state behind Kentucky and IN to implement work requirements.

Those able-bodied individuals will need to report 80 hours of work every month.

In addition to working, the approved activities include attending high school or college classes, participating in job training and performing community service.

The requirement for 20 hours of work, volunteering or vocational training would affect about 40,000 people on the program. Arkansas officials said they will determine how many beneficiaries will be affected by the change, and notices will start going out in April. If a person fails to meet the requirements for three months, he or she will lose coverage for the rest of that calendar year.

However, they can enroll in Medicaid sooner if they qualify under a different category. The work requirement will become effective in June.

More news: USA aircraft carrier in Vietnam on historic visit

The Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care will help educate enrollees about the requirement under a $928,725 contract, department spokesman Amy Webb said.

Arkansas Hospital Association chief executive Bo Ryall called the work requirement "a positive step".

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the approval Monday of a federal waiver allowing Arkansas to implement the work requirement on participants in the state's Arkansas Works program. Hutchinson said the state and CMS will continue to work on that piece.

A coalition of physicians, patients, and public health experts emerged yesterday to oppose a recent proposal from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that would restrict Medicare patients to 90-mg of morphine per day or an equivalent of another drug, STAT reported. The federal agency allowed the state to reduce the retroactive coverage to 30 days before the date of application.

A spokesman for CMS said officials looked forward to the visit, but declined to comment beyond Hutchinson's announcement.

You can view the approval letter HERE.

More news: These states are the best and worst at providing opportunities for women

Like this: